Extensive research has taken place by the R & A in “Golf around the world 2017” which shows that Golf is currently played in 208 counties. The top 20 golf countries account for 89% of the global supply, with the US alone claiming 45% of the world’s total golf courses. Europe has the second largest regional share with 22% of the world’s total, followed by Asia with 14% and Oceania with 6%. An issue that golf has is the time it takes to play, from leaving home, practising, playing a round, social drinks and driving home, most of the day has gone. So not appealing to golfers who are also parents, so golf is normally played by older golfers, whose children have grown-up.
Golf Clubs is the traditional market with over 33,000 golf courses in operation around the world, 25% of which are private and 75% being public golf courses. Normally 18 holes, with a practice ground and a putting green; golf clubs are often becoming golf resorts.
Golf Ranges are generally where beginners will go to learn to swing a golf club and to gain the confidence to progress to playing on golf courses. Golfers will regularly visit golf ranges to practise, to have lessons and to learn how far they hit each golf club.
Golf Retailers sell golf clubs, apparel, shoes and accessories, located off-course, the three leading US golf retailers are Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golfsmith and Golf Galaxy. Suffering in recent years with Dick’s reducing its golf presence, Golf Galaxy closing stores and Edwin Watts closing down.
Golf Facilities are played by both men and women, with an average age of 48 years old, the game needs to attract more junior members, so that the average age becomes closer to 35. Since the last Tiger Woods major win a decade ago the game has stalled; Golf needs to become a lot more FUN and Entertaining, to grow its future. It is very important that the Golf Industry become much more diverse worldwide and with the correct investment, it appeals to every age group.
Golf Clubs need to offer a wider range of golf facilities, allowing enjoyable games to be played in a shorter time frame, appealing to all ages groups. Enabling youngsters to have Fun within the club house, by playing interactive technology such as sports simulators, golf simulators, foot golf, disc golf, contest golf, miniature golf, Introducing them to Golf.
Golf Ranges need to offer additional interactive technology and raise catering standards, like one operator in the US, that has recently become very successful. Similar success can easily be achieved, even with much lower levels of investment.
Indoor Golf needs to radically change so it is no longer a seasonal business but is a year-round business, this can be very easily and affordable achieved. By becoming an Indoor Sports Centre, appealing to 30 times more customers year-round and not just seasonal golfers, so becoming a very profitable business.
Golf Retailers need to significantly diversify so that they are catering for all major sports and not just golf. Enabling customers to experience all their favourite ball sports, on the same in-store interactive technology, so turnover rises significantly.
It is very important that all Golf Facilities invest in their own businesses, so that they are attracting the next generation of junior golfers, as well as keeping their existing members entertained and improving their golfing ability. Some golf facilities will have the ability to add additional outdoor short course attractions, such as Foot Golf, Disc Golf, Miniature Golf etc., the majority will not be able too.